There are 20 ligaments and 6 tendons that support your wrist bones and help your wrist move. Each is liable to injuries and other disorders, such as arthritis, fractures, sprains, and strains.
While anyone can experience these injuries and disorders, certain health risks may increase the likelihood of developing them. Most injuries are caused by physical trauma; however, some disorders may be caused by pre-existing health conditions and other factors.
Identifying common wrist injuries and disorders early can lead to faster recovery periods with appropriate medical intervention.
Types of Common Wrist Injuries
Sprains and Strains
Sprains occur when ligaments are torn or damaged, often from overstretching the wrist. A strain results from a pulled muscle or tendon. It is likely to occur from lifting something heavy or from a repetitive wrist injury.
These two injuries share similar symptoms. A sprain can make your wrist swollen or bruised, and you may have difficulty moving the wrist. You may also experience muscle spasms and tenderness when you have a strain.
Fractures and Dislocations
Bone fractures are breaks in bones usually caused by sudden and severe physical trauma, such as a sports injury or an accident. Meanwhile, a wrist dislocation is where the bone in your wrist joint is pushed out of place. It can also cause tears in the tissues around the joint.
Common symptoms of fractures and dislocations are pain, swelling, and bruising. Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and use imaging tests to confirm whether you have a wrist fracture or dislocation.
Wrist tendinitis occurs when the tissues in your wrist connected to your forearm become inflamed. Overuse and repetitive stress are the common cause of this injury. One of the common types of wrist tendinitis is De Quervain’s Tendinosis, where the tendons in your thumb become swollen.
Loss of mobility, stiffness, and swelling around the wrist and base of the fingers are some symptoms you may experience if you have wrist tendinitis.
After consulting your healthcare provider and getting a diagnosis, non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, splinting, and medication may be recommended. Outpatient, low-risk wrist tendon surgery is also an option.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The median nerve is responsible for providing sensation to most of your fingers and is the nerve affected when you have carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a condition that causes tingling, numbness, or weakness in the hand and wrist. The space in the wrist (carpal tunnel) narrows and causes swelling of the tendons and the median nerve located in your wrist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome needs to be diagnosed as it shares many symptoms with many hand conditions. During your visit with your provider, they will examine your medical history and conduct a physical exam. Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Cortisone injections
- Medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Lifestyle changes, such as using ergonomic office equipment
Types of Common Wrist Disorders
Arthritis can occur in any part of your body, including your wrist. It is the degeneration of the joints due to overuse or as an effect of an autoimmune disease. Arthritis typically causes varying severity pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness.
There are many ways to manage wrist arthritis symptoms. A personalized treatment plan based on your arthritis and overall health can provide pain relief and improved quality of life. Treatments include medication, therapeutic injections, and physical therapy. Surgery, in the form of bone fusion or joint replacement, is utilized for patients with severe arthritis.
A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled lump in the skin that commonly forms on the wrist, finger, or foot. Caused by repetitive injury, it is the most common noncancerous mass that forms in the soft tissues.
For some, a ganglion cyst may not exhibit any specific symptoms other than the symmetrical or misshapen lump on the skin. There could be slight muscle pain due to the pressure of the cyst on the tendons. It may also cause inflammation.
Treatment for ganglion cysts includes medication, splinting, or aspiration, where your provider will remove fluid from the cyst using a needle. There are also surgical treatments to remove the entire cyst. In some cases, a ganglion cyst goes away on its own.
Wrist Surgeon in Miami Lakes, FL
If you or a loved one is experiencing wrist injuries or disorders, visit us here at The Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center. We provide high-quality orthopedic care for your hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Our state-of-the-art clinic can help patients with orthopedic concerns, including common wrist injuries and disorders. Dr. Tosca Kinchelow is a board-certified wrist surgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating wrist problems to provide pain relief and restore range of motion in the wrists.
We look forward to serving you!